This fall I developed an affinity for pancakes. I never really cared about pancakes before. I usually prefer a savory breakfast over something syrupy. But shortly after I moved into this apartment, I got into the habit of making them on weekend mornings, after sleeping in. I think they excite me because they feel like a weekend treat, something I don’t have time for on weekdays. Also, because there are endless varieties of flavors and ingredients to try. The base ingredients are simple and I usually have them on hand. Then I experiment with adding some fruit, nuts, or spices that I already have around. In October, I made predictable pumpkin pecan pancakes, which were predictably good. I’ve discovered that finely chopped apple in pancakes heats up and softens like apple pie. And today I made orange brown butter pancakes. I thought they were excellent, so I want to document the recipe I used. It is adapted from Joy the Baker. I used soy milk instead of buttermilk because I had it. I also substituted half of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat pastry flour. I find that any of these details can be safely messed with, as long as you keep the proportions similar.
Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. The butter will foam and froth then begin to brown.When the butter solids begin to brown, keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a rubber spatula to pick up the browned bits. The butter will smell rich and nutty. Cook until butter bits are brown then remove from the hot pan and place in a small bowl.
Whisk together 1 egg, 1 cup soy milk, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1 teaspoon orange zest. Whisk in the browned butter. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the buttermilk mixture all at once to the dry ingredients. Stir together with a fork until well incorporated.
Spoon onto a heated, greased skillet. This time I used a cast iron skillet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. You know the rest.